Hockey is also called field hockey in some places.

Hockey is a team game played by men and women, and can be played on grass or on an indoor surface. There are 11 players in a team including the goalie.

Each team has a goal, which has net on three sides. Each team member must try to hit a ball into the goal net of the other team. Players use wooden or metal sticks to hit the ball. All players wear a mouthguard and protection on their legs.

Goalkeepers try to stop the ball entering the net ©Getty Images

Goalkeepers try to stop the ball entering the net ©Getty Images

The goalkeeper wears special clothing for protection

Goalkeepers use their whole body to stop the ball from going into the net. Goalkeepers need to wear more padding to protect their bodies including chest guards, padded shorts, heavily padded hand protectors, groin protectors, neck and arm guards,

Players can only shoot for goal from a shooting circle.The goalkeepers are the only players allowed to kick the ball.

An umpire makes sure all players keep the rules.

History of hockey

Hockey may have begun many centuries ago in Egypt, where there is a tomb painting dating from about 2015 BC showing two players with curved sticks and a ball.

The ancient Greeks and the Romans played a game similar to hockey, and in England, a hockey-like game called 'bandy ball' was played until 1356, when it was banned by King Edward III because it was too rough and dangerous.

The first hockey rules were drawn up in 1840.

Go here to read about hockey at the Olympics.

http://www.olympic.org/hockey